Wednesday, May 05, 2010

the candidate

LOST episode The Candidate was unrelenting, emotional, excruciating and just right. At times it was a little bit Western, a little bit Poseidon Adventure a little bit Mission Impossible (the original series, not the movies.) Seeing Sayid's eyes clear as he tried to defuse the bomb was just wonderful, as were Sawyer's and Kate's expressions when faced (once again) with the cages.

The Sideways alterna-verse seemed a little more tame than usual compared to the Island—at first. Doctor Jack told Locke, "I think you're a candidate . . . I think I can fix you." Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. In Season One Jack fashion he went against his patient's wishes and checked first with his dentist Bernard (!) who seemed to know that flight 815 was not just your average flight. He then tried to talk to Locke's father to find out why Locke might resist his brilliant surgery. In the meantime, he ran into newly found sister Claire. In this universe brother and sister bonded over Apollo bars and Christian's  Catch A Falling Star music box, while on the Island, they seem oblivious of each other. Even after all his fixer-upper and intrusive questions, Doctor Jack kept reaching out to Locke, but a guilt-stricken Locke still resisted. "Whatever happened, happened."

The Sideways events in themselves weren't all that startling, but they provided a good background echo to the serious action taking place on the Island, where Southern Gentleman Sawyer still wasn't going to let anything happen to Freckles. Jack, holding firm to his new purpose, told Smokey and Sayid, in reference to the other candidates, "They're not my people and I'm not leaving the Island." While rescuing a puzzled Kate & Co. from the cages (son of a bitch!) Jack gestured in the direction of Smokey, in full genocide Widmore redshirt-murdering mode, "I'm with them." Exactly, Kate. Holy freaking crap.

Ze plane, ze plane! Smokey's cons are so transparent, is Sawyer the only one hip to him? Are they all just too butt-tired and freaked out to be suspicious? Correction—Hurley also seemed to smell a rat. Wasn't it Richard's plan a few episodes back to blow up the plane? Was that his C-4? Thanks Hurley, for reminding us all that left flank Richard, Miles and Ben are out there, somewhere, still. And by the way, Smokey, I HATE neck-snapping. Lame television cliche violence. The only way I'm accepting this behavior from LOST is because it's by lame-con Smokey and seemed right up his alley.

Smokey handed Jack his backpack as they headed towards the sub—the old switcheroo! I'm sorry, maybe its something in the air, but I saw Smokey's intentions from a mile away last night. Jack put it all together way too late . . . I have suspected before that Smokey's grand evil plan was to kill all the Losties, but it was still extremely tense to watch: "Sawyer—don't stick your head out of the sub!" "Kate—Owww!" Yes that was me, yelling at the screen.

Smokey Hell broke loose. For anyone who in the past who doubted for even one second that Smokey was pure evil . . . Freakin' LOST, you had me crying like a baby, for a straight five minutes or however long that sequence was between Sayid running down the passageway and Sun and Jin . . . I've cried at movies many times, but not full-out sobs like I was shedding for ex-Zombie Sayid and the Kwons. Lapidus, we hardly knew ye. And Hurley sobbing after the commercial break almost got me started again . . . Maybe the fact that I am in my own home makes the viewing experience that much more intimate, more intense. Or maybe it's that these characters have gotten under my skin more than any other television characters since Angel and Buffy.

At first I thought the Sideways world in this episode was a bit boring, but after everything started to go boom on the Island I realized that we needed those few scenes as opportunities to catch our breath or dry our tears.

Widmore's goals are still undetermined, but this show has gone beyond good and bad, blood and guts. We're back to love and faith. Sun and Jin choosing love over life. Sayid, shaking away the last of the zombie dust from his eyes and finally becoming the true hero, the good man he always wanted to be (sniff.) Jack, back (again) on the Island, where he belongs. Who will get to stay and survive with him? Hurley? Will Richard and Ben sacrifice themselves to the Island? Will Kate and Sawyer and Claire and Miles get away? And what about Desmond?

Smokey may think he's going to "finish" it and them, but he ain't seen nothing yet. Is Smokey the candidate? Does he want to replace Jacob? Is that the only way he can be set free?

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